The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I heard great things about this book, so I was interested in reading it. I am never sure if I’m going to like the same things about a book that everyone else does, so I take these things with a grain of salt. I loved it almost from the start. 

The story was very thought-provoking even though it was definitely fiction. I did figure out the the ending about 3/4 of the way through, but, as always, the adventure is in the journey, even if we do know the ending. 

The book kept my attention all the way through. It is one that I will continue to think about for years to come. I definitely recommend this book. 

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Wrapping up 2020

As 2020 comes to an end, here are my thoughts on the things I’ve accomplished.

I attempted a post every day, but I fell a little short at the beginning of the Fall semester. I think I came pretty close, though.

I attempted to post What Are You Reading every Wednesday. I missed a couple, but I came close. This was because once we started sheltering in place, I lost my internal calendar and had no idea what day of the week it was a lot.

I attended online bookclubs when I could. I didn’t finish a lot of the books, but I got to know a lot of the people. I also found out that Inky loves Zoom meetings and usually will sit happily on or near me during them.

I came nowhere near the health and exercise goals this year. It didn’t help that the gym and pool areas were closed.

I exceeded my reading goal of 100 books. When I set the goal, I was expecting to read and review several children’s books, so 100 wasn’t as high as I made it seem. I read 101 books as of December 20, but many of them were read before I hit my slump in March. I managed to get back to it and finish up the year.

I think I did fairly well, all things considered, but I could have done better. Next years goals are set, but I didn’t aim too high. I wanted achievable but not too easy. They’ll be published tomorrow.

Not Being Social

I was invited to a Zoom party tonight. I just don’t think I can do it. I already sent an rsvp saying maybe weeks ago. I’m sensing that I’ve had a few too many meetings. I’m not feeling all that social, especially when it’s just being digitally social.

I’m really more interested in finishing up a book or two. Can I use it as an excuse?

I’m a little nervous that I’ll stop getting invited to things if I don’t go. I think I’m going to have to put that off to the back of my brain for the night, though.

I think that I’m going to finish up my audiobook and make progress on a Kindle book. I may show up on the Zoom party for a short time. I haven’t decided yet. Happy New Year, everyone!

106 of 100 completed

I had set an annual goal of 100 books for 2020, knowing that I’d be reading and reviewing children’s books, along with my other books. It was definitely a doable goal.

I have reviewed almost all of them, even if they were reviewed a while after I’d finished the book. Some that I have already finished won’t be published for a few weeks, so I can attempt at least one post a day for 2021.

I credit my bookclubs for the majority of the completed books. Also, I had several authors ask for reviews. I’ve had to turn down many of the requests this year, due to work and school. There just wasn’t enough time to read. I also found myself with a lack of concentration during the summer and early fall. I just couldn’t do it. When I set the goal, I didn’t forsee the pandemic, obviously. I think I could have read more if I hadn’t lost my ability to concentrate.

I still have several days to read more books. I have multiple bookclub meetings coming up quickly in early January. I plan on getting those books read between now and the second weekend in January. I don’t know how many will fall in 2020, and how many will be in 2021. We’ll see as they pop up. I think that only my Goodreads account will show the actual date read, though.

Notable Books of 2020

Notable books of 2020

In the above linked article, The New York Times lists its most notable books of 2020. I have a few of them, but haven’t read most of them.

The Death of Vivek Oji and The Vanishing Half are on my book stack list. Earthlings, A Promised Land, and Memorial are on my TBR list. I hadn’t heard of Hamnet, but I would like to read it. The same goes for Overground Railroad and The Dead are Arising.

There are a lot of books that are worth reading on this list. It looks like I didn’t get to any of them this year, but I hope to.

Hot books of summer 2020

Hot books of summer 2020

The above linked article shows books that will be released this summer. I have several on my TBR list already, including Jasmine Guillory’s new book, and Jennifer Weiner’s. I also absolutely have to read the prequel to Hunger Games. I am so excited for these three, and a few others on the list.

All Adults Here
by Emma Straub

Release date: May 5

Big Summer
by Jennifer Weiner

Release date: May 5

The Jane Austen Society
by Natalie Jenner

Release date: May 26

The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett

Release date: June 2

Mexican Gothic
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Release date: June 30

The Only Good Indians
by Stephen Graham Jones

Release date: July 14

Luster
by Raven Leilani

Release date: August 4

The Comeback
by Ella Berman

Release date: August 11

MYSTERY & THRILLER

Death in Her Hands
by Ottessa Moshfegh

Release date: June 23

Home Before Dark
by Riley Sager

Release date: June 30

The Shadows
by Alex North

Release date: July 7

His & Hers
by Alice Feeney

Release date: July 28

The Guest List
by Lucy Foley

Release date: June 2

FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION

Devolution
by Max Brooks

Release date: June 16

Axiom’s End
by Lindsay Ellis

Release date: July 21

The Year of the Witching
by Alexis Henderson

Release date: July 21

Afterland
by Lauren Beukes

Release date: July 28

The Mother Code
by Carole Stivers

Release date: August 25

NONFICTION

The Hilarious World of Depression
by John Moe

Release date: May 5

Hollywood Park
by Mikel Jollett

Release date: May 26

Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir
by Lacy Crawford

Release date: July 14

The Fixed Stars
by Molly Wizenberg

Release date: August 4

YOUNG ADULT

Clap When You Land
by Elizabeth Acevedo

Release date: May 5

 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games 0)
by Suzanne Collins

Release date: May 19

Loveless
by Alice Oseman

Release date: July 9

Where Dreams Descend
by Janella Angeles

Release date: August 25

ROMANCE

Beach Read
by Emily Henry

Release date: May 19

Something to Talk About
by Meryl Wilsner

Release date: May 26

Party of Two
by Jasmine Guillory

Release date: June 23

One to Watch
by Kate Stayman-London

Thirty Must Read Books of 2020

Thirty Must Read Books of 2020

The above linked article talks about the best books to read in 2020. Many of them were actually published in 2019. I’d be interested to see what the list of books that were published in 2020 looks like. Time will tell.

1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank GreenReport this ad

2. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

3. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

4. The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

5. The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

6. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

7. One of Us by Craig DiLouie

8. On Hitler’s Mountain by Irmgard A. Hunt

9. High Achiever by Tiffany Jenkins

10. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

11. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

12. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

13. Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

14. A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson

15. The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

16. The Lost Man by Jane HarperReport this ad

17. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

18. Educated by Tara Westover

19. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

20. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

21. Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

22. No Exit by Taylor Adams

23. The Lying Room by Nicci French

24. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

25. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

26. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

27. The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

28. Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

29. Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

30. Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Carnegie Hill by Jonathan Vatner

Carnegie Hill

Carnegie Hill by Jonathan Vatner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up because I didn’t have an audiobook hold available from the library, and this was available. 

I felt that the author tried to touch on many controversial topics – racism, homophobia, classism, suicide, etc – and did none of them well. There were too many characters to cover in such a short book. 

Also, the editor needed a little help with the hospital scene. The description of the oxygen mask and respirator made very little sense. Also, he was sent from the ICU to the ICU ? It didn’t make a lot of sense all around. A little bit of research would have made a world of comprehension. 

Did we really need the food descriptions to be so detailed.? Who cares what the characters had for breakfast? 

I wasn’t thrilled about the way the author wrote a lot of the female characters as jealous. Each time a man didn’t answer his phone, the female character assumed he was out cheating. Most women wouldn’t necessarily assume this. Dead on the street somewhere, sure. But ourt cheating? Not the first thought unless she had a guilty conscience herself, and not one of the female characters did, other than one who flirted a little with a doctor. 

I rated it with 3 stars because with a little more editing, and a longer story, it could have been good. It just missed good and hit ok. 

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